Odds & Ends: Grizzlies, Raptors, White, Thunder

Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun proposes a trade that would send Zach Randolph and Tony Wroten to the Raptors for Andrea Bargnani, Aaron Gray and a second-round pick. Wolstat wonders if the new Grizzlies owners will try to shed salary before the season to avoid paying luxury tax. Memphis is about $4MM above the tax line (Twitter links). I'm skeptical about this one, since trading the team's best player wouldn't exactly make Robert Pera and company the most popular people in Memphis, especially considering the Grizzlies are off to a hot start. While we wait to find out whether any such deal materializes this season, here are a few notes from around the Association. 

  • High-level union officials are discussing whether they can make a credible case that the Rockets shouldn't be fining Royce White for his absences, but White's criticism of the team on Twitter makes the union's job more difficult, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
  • Kevin Martin isn't half the player James Harden is, opines Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com, who counts the deal as a mistake for the Thunder based on early results. (Twitter link).
  • Magic Johnson wanted Phil Jackson to coach the Lakers, and he lays the blame on executive vice president Jim Buss for what he believes is a mistake, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com observes. "I love (owner) Dr. (Jerry) Buss," Johnson said on ESPN's NBA Countdown show. "I don't believe in Jim Buss."
  • Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times, conversely, is confident the decision to hire Mike D'Antoni came from Jerry Buss. Dwyre concludes D'Antoni must have been the Lakers' No. 1 choice all along, speculating that the team didn't want to embarrass agent Warren LeGarie by making it look like they had D'Antoni, his client, already lined up to replace Mike Brown, also LeGarie's client, when Brown was fired.

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